Deluxe 13-piece Hnefatafl Game
This little board game combines simplicity and style in a small package. Don't be fooled by its size: the small game is every bit as absorbing as its larger cousins. This edition is designed with the true connoisseur in mind: showy decoration is put aside in favour of understated elegance and practicality. Yet it still looks good enough to decorate the coffee table.
The hand-made board is of birch plywood, and measures 8 inches (200mm) square. The border is formed of American Walnut veneer. The whole thing is coated with cellulose lacquer in order to give the playing surface a smooth, glassy finish, before being polished with beeswax.
The markings of the board are minimal: just the central square and the four corners are marked on the board. This allows seasoned players to choose their own starting layout without unnecessary distracting marks on the board. The markings are of poker-work, burned into the board to prevent wear.
The pieces are 13 wooden pawns. A large, dark brown king sits in the centre of the board. Around him are four brown defenders who will fight for him. At the four edges of the board are eight white attackers, who will try to capture the king. The pieces are kept in a wooden box, which is finished and polished like the board.
The booklet enclosed with the game gives a brief history of hnefatafl, focussing on the smaller games played in Ireland and Scotland. It gives two sets of rules: brandub is the first, a reasonably-well documented game from Ireland. The second set of rules is an experimental set for the slightly different games played in Scotland.
The game comes with the same after-sales service you expect from The Hnefatafl Shop. Before and after the sale, you'll find here a passion for the game: strategic tips and alternative rules for the board on the web site, and a readiness to answer any questions about history, rules and strategy that you may have.
This game is hand-made in a rustic style. Please do not expect machine-made precision; there may therefore be minor blemishes in the work. Not suitable for young children due to small pieces.